Worming Goats

Goat in window (Medium)

I mentioned before that we lost our goat Lucy on Christmas day. Here’s a picture of her being silly before she passed away. We weren’t sure why she died, but now we suspect it was worms. The day after she died I noticed that our other goat, Mocha, had really runny poop. I called my friend Hope for advice. She said it sounded like she had worms. I admitted that we hadn’t wormed the goats. She said, “Ohhh! Then, yeah, she definitely has worms.”

She told me that goats need to be wormed often. I thought they only needed to be dewormed when there were signs of a problem. She said that if the poop is runny, that’s a bad case. They can drop dead very quickly once they are that bad off. Man, did I feel bad! She said that was probably what got Lucy. I told her that I didn’t notice any signs of Lucy having any problem before she died. She said that she’d had a few just drop on her like that too, no signs of any problem, they just died.

So, now we know. The need to be wormed. I’m not sure how often to be worming them, I need to ask Hope. I’ve read that some people do it every 2 months. Anyways, she told me that I needed to deworm her that day. If I could not get any medicine right away, she said I could give her some Pepto Bismol.

I asked her what kind of wormer we should get. She said that normally she’d give hers Ivermectin, but since my goat probably had a bad case, she strongly suggested that we get some Valbazin (in the horse wormer section) because it was stronger. She said that it would say it’s not safe for goats, but not to pay any attention to that. She uses it on her own goats all the time.

(She shared that she’d had luck with most dewormers, but warned me not to use Cow-Mectin. She said that one time she gave that to some pregnant does, and they miscarried the very next day. She’s never used it again.)

Fortunately, hubby was able to run by Tractor Supply after work and pick up some medicine for her. However, he wasn’t able to find any Valbazin, so he got Moxidectin. The dosage is by weight. Since it’s meant for horses the lowest weight it begins with is 250 lbs.

wormer (Medium)

Our goat is about 80 lbs. So, we had to estimate how much to give her. We measured to the second little line (which was just a teeny tiny bit), and gave her that much, approx. enough for 100 lbs. Jerry just put it right into her mouth. *It is better to overdose than underdose, so as not to build up a resistance to the medication.

A goat’s poop is a big health indicator. Hope told me that if Mocha’s droppings were not hard pellets, like they should be, within the next two days, that she probably has Coccidiosis, and that she would advise me on how to treat that if it happened to be the case. Fortunately, two days later her droppings were back to normal.

We are to treat her again 6 weeks after her initial dose.

I hate that we didn’t know this sooner. But as Hope said, “Hey, don’t feel bad. You’re learning!” Yeah. We are definitely learning. And in hind sight, I did notice that the goat’s poop was coming out in large clumps, instead of small hard pellets. I thought they were just constipated or something, but now I know that they were sticking together from being moist… a sign of worms. Now I know.

Next time we won’t wait until the poop is runny. By then it may be too late. We’re gonna stay on a strict de-worming schedule!

6 thoughts on “Worming Goats”

  1. It’s also really important to begin looking at holistic treatment especially if you are currently worming with meds so regularly. There are many treatments, especially preventative, that can aid in balancing the overall health and heartiness of goats. Molly’s Herbals at Fiasco Farms website has many valuable, organic and natural solutions. Organic coconut oil actually has properties in it that cause coccidia to explode. I made a decoction that include typical marigold (African), activated charcoal (found at many health food stores), lemon grass, and mixed with 1 tblspoon of organic unprocessed coconut oil. My goat went from explosive diarrhea to healthy pellets within hours. Just a thought…

  2. We lost a 3 month old wether this summer to coccidia. We had only had our goats for 3 weeks at that time and they were our first foray into goats. Since then, I have learned lots about worming goats and coccidia, in particular. We worm the goats once every 3 months. We haven’t had any problems since, thank goodness!

  3. Hi ~ Sorry about losing Lucy, especially on Christmas. Love the picture of her. That must have been awful…..I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing your life and experiences with all of us….

  4. Also, those Storey’s Guide To… are great! I don’t have the one on goats but they have one… I have the one on chickens and the one on rabbits. I don’t have either yet (plan to get chickens soon if I can figure out a way to keep the animals from killing them!) but I study those books all the time. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend so I asked around and read a lot online about the best small livestock books and these were the most highly recommended. Might want to check it out!

    PS. I have the Carla Emery one too. I LOOOVVVEEE that book. Such a wonderful resource for my book shelf!

  5. Kendra,

    You should read “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery. You can get it on Amazon for $18. It’s expensive but it’s a large book and over an inch thick. It tells how to raise different livestock (medicines needed, how to give,and how to butcher)and includes photos. It’s a very informative book for someone who wants to become self-sufficient. It also includes gardening, canning, and many other useful information.


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